Bakersfield police officer facing life in prison for drug trafficking
June 20, 2016
A former detective with the Bakersfield Police Department pleaded guilty today to trafficking methamphetamine, acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. Patrick Mara, 36, faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine.
While Mara was assigned to the Southern Tri-County Task Force, from June 14, 2012, through October 2013, he conspired with his partner, Damacio Diaz, to seize narcotics while working as officers for the department, according to court records.
Instead of submitting seized narcotics to the police department evidence room, Mara and Diaz kept the drugs for their own personal gain, purpose and sale. Mara admits that he and Diaz unlawfully seized and maintained possession of approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine.
According to the plea agreement, Mara will forfeit $80,000 obtained from his criminal conduct. On May 31, Damacio Diaz pleaded guilty to related charges.
“Mara took advantage of the trust placed in law enforcement officers for his personal gain,” acting U.S. Attorney Talbert said. “In so doing, he undermined the public trust and he betrayed the honest, hard-working officers who risk their lives daily to protect our community. Moreover, he put those officers — and the public — in danger.”
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Bakersfield Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Brian K. Delaney and Angela Scott are prosecuting the case.
While Mara faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine, the actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.